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2020 Summer Favorites/ Bestsellers

2020 Summer Favorites/ Bestsellers

This playlist a combination of 'Staff Picks' and bestsellers from a small Indie bookstore in Brewster, Massachusetts.

Playlist Tags: The Brewster Book Store genre: Fiction mood: fun audience: adult topic: beach reads season: summer

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Normal People

A Novel

By Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

Normal People

“What a treat to discover Sally Rooney! This novel stands out shining from the current onslaught of mediocre prose and less-than-suspenseful thriller plots. Normal People is the story of a relationship between two high school classmates in a small town in Ireland, and how it changes over time, through their last year of college in Dublin. Rooney’s spare and brilliant writing illuminates her insight and makes the unfolding of these two personalities completely compelling.”

Georgiana Dix Blomberg image Georgiana Dix Blomberg, Magnolia's Bookstore
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American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel

By Jeanine Cummins
Narrated by: Yareli Arizmendi
Length: 16 hours 55 minutes

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)

American Dirt is a beautiful, heartbreaking odyssey, a vivid world filled with angels and demons, one I only wanted to leave so I could get my heart out of my throat. Cartel violence sends a mother and her son careening north from Acapulco toward the relative safety of the United States, and every moment of their journey is rendered in frantic, sublime detail. Danger lurks around the corner of every paragraph, but so does humanity, empathy, and stunning acts of human kindness. You will feel the toll of every mile, the cost of every bullet, and the power of every page. A wonder.”

DIESEL, A Bookstore image Thatcher Svekis, DIESEL, A Bookstore
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The Vanishing Half

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“Bennett, by far, exceeded by expectations with her second book. It was completely engrossing with intricately woven prose and compelling characterization. One of the best books I read during lockdown.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
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Rodham

A Novel

By Curtis Sittenfeld
Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
Length: 13 hours 58 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of American Wife and Eligible . . . He proposed. She said no. And it changed her life forever.
 
“A deviously clever what if.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Immersive, escapist.”—Good Morning America
“Ingenious.”—The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • NPR • The Washington... Read more »

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The Guest List

A Novel

By Lucy Foley
Narrated by: Jot Davies, Chloe Massey, Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Sarah Ovens & Rich Keeble
Length: 10 hours 22 minutes

The Guest List

“A murder mystery page turner where everyone has a secret! The perfect posh wedding is planned for a celebrity couple on an island off the coast of Ireland. But things go awry when a storm hits and someone is murdered. Told from the point of view of well drawn and in some cases very unlikeable, characters. There are multiple suspects and secrets revealed along the way.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Beth, A Great Good Place for Books
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All Adults Here

A Novel

By Emma Straub
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 11 hours 4 minutes

All Adults Here

“Emma Straub deals with some pretty heavy topics in All Adults Here. The story touches upon latent lesbianism, transgender issues, child abandonment, and grief. It sounds like it would be a real downer of a read, but it is far from that. Staub takes serious issues and humanizes them. Her characters are intriguing as well as amiable and the family dynamics are well-mapped as well as believable. I enjoyed this book so much and I was sad when I had to say goodbye to the colorful characters. The narration was done very well.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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A Burning

A novel

By Megha Majumdar
Narrated by: Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar, Deepti Gupta, Ulka Simone Mohanty, Soneela Nankani & Neil Shah
Length: 7 hours 21 minutes

A Burning

“Wonderfully read by a full cast, Megha Majumdar’s A Burning is especially relevant in the age of highly-politicized social media and government extremism.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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Ask Again, Yes

A Novel

By Mary Beth Keane
Narrated by: Molly Pope
Length: 12 hours 42 minutes

Ask Again, Yes

Ask Again, Yes is a compelling, heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful novel. Mary Beth Keane is incredibly talented; she does not sugar coat, instead giving readers a compulsively readable family drama. I did not expect to become so completely engrossed in these characters’ stories — two families whose lives become inextricably linked by young love and personal tragedy. Their myriad mistakes and attempts to atone beautifully demonstrate the power and grace found in forgiveness.”

Page and Palette image Anderson McKean, Page and Palette
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Beach Read

By Emily Henry
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hours 12 minutes

If you enjoyed Take a Hint, Dani Brown, then you’ll love Beach Read.

“2020 is apparently the year I start reading romance novels and loving them. Maybe it's my need for a little lighthearted fluff in quarantine, but straight fluff isn't really my jam no matter the day. I want fluff with meat on its bones. I want fluff with substance.

As for Beach Read... Did I just give a romance novel ALL THE STARS? Why yes. Yes I did. And if I could give it a few more, I would. Because Beach Read is just the kind of substantial 'fluff' I needed to read. It's the kind of book that flips the patriarchy on its head, the one that has told readers like me that romance novels can't be good literature. Because at the end of the day, my preference for anything *but* romance had little to do with the writing quality, and everything to do with social biases. Henry attacks those head on. And then she goes leaps and bounds further, delving into grief and love and identity, and how we understand each other.

This book is therapy. It's a book about writer's block in the best of ways - not just the literal premise of swapping stories, but that of feeling stuck in a rut and not knowing what to do to move forward with life. I felt completely and utterly seen in its pages. I cried ugly tears until I had none left. And then it lifted me up in a bucket full of swoon. Reader, I adored every minute. And with Julia Whelan to narrate, what more could you ask for?”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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The Jane Austen Society

A Novel

By Natalie Jenner
Narrated by: Richard Armitage
Length: 9 hours 55 minutes

The Jane Austen Society

“I loved this book so much that I bought the hardcover for myself right after I finished listening to the book on Libro.fm - and I bought 3 more copies to give to friends. You don't have to like Jane Austen to love this book. It's so refreshing!”

Content image Myrna, Content
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Friends and Strangers

A novel

By J. Courtney Sullivan
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Length: 14 hours 4 minutes

Friends and Strangers

“I am a big fan of J. Courtney Sullivan's writing. This engaging novel examines privilege, motherhood, and relationships between employer and employee in a daily domestic setting. Elizabeth is a writer and hires Sam from a local college to babysit for her infant son. As time passes, they develop a close relationship. Elizabeth's work habits slowly diminish. If she is not drinking wine with Sam, she is wasting away the hours perusing Facebook for old acquaintances. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's husband, Andrew is a struggling inventor who is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed. Friends & Strangers is engrossing and well written. Hat's off to the narrator who gave an outstanding performance.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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28 Summers

By Elin Hilderbrand
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 15 hours 26 minutes

28 Summers

“I have had the pleasure of reading all of Elin Hilderbrand's books. My favorite has always been her first novel, The Blue Bistro. I'm afraid to say the 28 Summers has officially dethroned The Blue Bistro in my heart. Listening to 28 Summers was a total delight to my ears. It is based on one of my favorite movies, Same Time Next Year. 28 Summers tells the story of Mallory and Jake. Jake is a college buddy of Mallory's brother, Cooper. Although Jake is involved in a relationship, he immediately becomes enamored by Mallory. The reader is given a birds-eye view of their blossoming romance that begins on Labor Day weekend and continues on that same weekend for 28 years. If you are looking to escape some of the awful news in the world, and you appreciate a story of enduring love, this book is for you. As an added bonus, the fabulous narrator is the cherry on this delicious sundae.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Summer Darlings

By Brooke Lea Foster
Narrated by: Rebekkah Ross
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

Summer Darlings

“If you relish a story that takes place in the 1960s, includes beautiful, wealthy characters, and takes place in charming Martha's Vineyard, Summer Darlings is for you. This book is beautifully written and rich in detail. It tells the story of Heddy, a Wellesley student who is hired as a nanny for the wealthiest family on the island. At first, Heddy is enamored with her employers and their lifestyle. But she soon realizes that all that glitters is not gold. Over the course of the Summer, Heddy befriends a famous Hollywood star and finds herself with two handsome suitors. This novel is the perfect Summer read. It is entertaining as well as full of glamor reminiscent of the '60s. If you choose to listen to it, the narrator is exceptional and puts her heart into the reading.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Summer Longing

By Jamie Brenner
Narrated by: Molly Parker Myers
Length: 11 hours 36 minutes

Summer Longing

“Jamie's books remind me of the first warm, sunny day in Spring. Summer Longing takes place in quirky, colorful Provincetown. Ruth Cooperman, a woman in her 50's steps off the ferry with high hopes of starting a new chapter in her life. She rents a picturesque home from Elise and Fern, who owns the town's Tea Shop. After she is settled in her home away from home, Ruth opens her front door and finds an infant on her doorstep. Elise is contacted, and she immediately falls in love with the sweet baby girl. Several of the women in town pitch in to take care of the baby, including Ruth. This book tackles many topics: infertility, unwanted pregnancy, mother/daughter dynamics, and of course, love. I highly recommend this delightful story.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Writers & Lovers

A Novel

By Lily King
Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
Length: 8 hours 13 minutes

If you enjoyed How to be both, then you’ll love Writers & Lovers.

“Casey is the writer of our time: in debt, trying to hang on to something like a writers' community, envious of others' successes, trying to choose where to live and how to make money and whom to love, while everything 'certain' around her changes: her restaurant job turns ugly, her apartment lease won't be renewed, her boyfriend isn't the person she thought he was. What's different about Casey's story? The honesty. The unpretentious intelligence. The (actually believable) happy ending, but more importantly, the moments when Casey describes the view from a car window, or a stop on her bike ride, or an awkward moment with a child or a dog, when you know you are sharing with her a moment of perfect clarity that both of you want to capture in words. Perfect for grown-up fans of Anne of Green Gables, or who wanted Sybylla to make it in My Brilliant Career, this novel can also hold its own among Women's Prize winners. With all the raw truth of a first novel and the invisible, but skilled, structure and language of an accomplished author, Writers and Lovers does something that feels impossible in the 2020s: It makes us believe, unironically and lovingly, in hope again.”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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The Second Home

A Novel

By Christina Clancy
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 12 hours 22 minutes

The Second Home

“While reading The Second Home, you can taste the saltwater of both the ocean and the tears of familial pain. Christina Clancy has written a beautiful story of family and the bonds that can be broken and somehow repaired again. The characters and location are so well-written, you’ll feel like you’ve vacationed on the Cape for years with the Gordon family. Fans of Jane Hamilton and We Were the Mulvaneys will love The Second Home.”

Arcadia Books image Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books
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Big Summer

A Novel

By Jennifer Weiner
Narrated by: Danielle Macdonald
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

Big Summer

“I have never read or listened to anything by Jennifer Weiner before, I thought would be a bit too fluffy for me. I was really surprised to find that I really enjoyed this audio. This story about friendship, loyalty, being comfortable with yourself and staying true to yourself, was very well written and I also really enjoyed the narration. I liked it even more once I got to the twist and realized there was a bit of a mystery thrown in! I very much enjoyed listening to this audio. I highly recommend this one to get your summer reading/listening started!!”

Gottwals Books image Julie, Gottwals Books
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